“We know what we know but we don’t know what we don’t know”, was said to me by one of my coaches Keith Cunningham, some years ago. I bet that if you have ever met me you have heard me say those words. Usually followed with “and its what we don’t know that costs us”
Every hiatus or drama in my life was either brought about or made worse by what I didn’t know. That is a really dumb way to learn! Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from other people’s mistakes?
Not knowing what we don’t know is fine. In fact it is perfect, perfectly human. However, not knowing that we don’t know is different. It may be only one letter different but its impact is huge.
Not knowing that we don’t know, at its best, is innocent or naïve ignorance at its worst its blindness, perhaps even wilful blindness.
Not knowing what we don’t know is why we all need coaches. The coaching conversation allows us to safely explore the limits of our knowledge and thinking and expand those boundaries. It is an ultimately optimistic and hopeful process.
Not knowing that we don’t know, is not quite, but close to hopeless.
What was it Mark Twain said? “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”.
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